Closing out fashion week is typically an honor given to big name brands but this season Milan Fashion Week gave the honor to the relatively unknown designer Alexandra Moura. Unless you follow fashion’s underground hype the Portuguese designer wouldn’t be on your radar. But quiet as it’s kept, Alexandra Moura has been making the rounds of the top fashion week circuit, and she has made a name for herself in Europe and abroad in fashion forward countries like Japan.
Before Milan, Alexandra Moura has presented her collections during London and Paris fashion week. She is an award winning fashion designer gifted Portugal’s Golden Globe for Best Design. And she is a recognized artist by Portugal’s Secretary of State for Culture and the Secretary of State for Parliamentary and Equality Issues.
The latter acknowledgement makes sense when you understand the inspiration for Alexandra Moura’s fall/ winter 2019-20 collection. Alexandra pays tribute to Rosa Ramalho (born in 1888), a famous ceramists from the North of Portugual. Rosa Ramalho was a shoemakers daughter who learned to work with clay at a young age but gave it up at 18 when she married and had seven children and became a homemaker. Later in life at the age of 68 Rosa returned to her artistic endeavors creating beastly ceramic figures that would establish her fame. She was the first artist in Portugal to be known individually by name and to receive the acknowledgement, among other entities, of the Presidency, which made Rosa Ramalho a Dame in the Order of Saint James of the Sword.
Alexandra Moura took inspiration from Ramalho’s beastly menagerie to create the aesthetics and intelligence for her fall collection. The contrast between Ramalho’s visionary art and her humble lifestyle was the formula for Alexandra Moura’s designs.
The collection established a bridge between the classic and the contemporary of rural and urban life. Work garments from the countryside intertwined with the relaxed fit of today’s sportswear trend.
Alexandra gave credit to Rosa Ramalho’s fantastic beings for the mix and overlap of materials, color palette and quotes. For the fashion show Alexandra hand painted some of her garments and the models faces reinterpreting Rosa’s bestiary.
Alexandra Moura’s artistic approach to fashion, her expert tailoring, and thoughtful designs imply Moura has finally found the right place to show her fashion collection. Her place of honor closing out Milan Fashion Week implies they were happy to have her as well.